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Washington State University
International On Campus

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We support and encourage academic units, programs, faculty, and students to enhance their international activities with our programs, events, and academic exchanges.

The government’s rules and regulations change frequently, and immigration and hiring processes can be highly complex.

Please contact the Office of International Programs’ Global Services visa and immigration advisors at 509-335-4508 or email as soon as possible.

We will set up a case in our Immigration Tracker web portal, which you and your international candidates can use to submit and review documents, set up automatic notifications, and keep tabs on what is happening at each stage of the process.

Visa Categories

Foreign nationals coming to the United States to study, visit, or work will need to apply for 1 of these visa types.

International Students

  • F-1 academic program student
  • J-1 exchange student

International Scholars

  • B-1 business visitor
  • WB visitor
  • J-1 scholar

International Workers/Employees

  • H-1B specialty worker
  • TN professional worker (Canadian/Mexican citizens only)
  • E-3 specialty worker (Australian citizens only)
  • H-1B1 specialty worker (Chilean/Singaporean citizens only)

Only the U.S. Embassy/Consulate can issue a visa. It is strongly recommended a foreign national apply for a U.S. visa in his/her home country. A U.S. Embassy/Consulate may or may not accept a third-country national (TCN) visa application and it usually takes longer to process.

Exchange Visitor Categories

There are 4 principal categories within Exchange Visitor Program in which WSU sponsors foreign faculty to come to WSU to engage in collaborative projects.

An exchange visitor cannot be a candidate for a tenure track position or permanent employment.


A professor may primarily conduct teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions and may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor. Please note that it is appropriate for a professor or research scholar to come to the United States as an exchange visitor only when the underlying purpose of his or her entry is to stimulate international collaborative teaching and research efforts or to promote interchange between research and educational institutions in the United States and other countries.


A research scholar may primarily conduct research, observe, or consult in connection with a research project at post-secondary accredited educational institutions. A scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor.

Short-Term Scholar

A professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at post-secondary accredited educational institutions may stay from 1 day to a maximum of 6 months. No extensions beyond the 6 months are permitted.


This is an individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the United States for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills. J-1 visa holders in the Specialist category may stay for the length of time necessary to complete their program, not to exceed 1 year. Extensions beyond the 1-year program are not permitted.

Not Sure which Visa Your Visitor Will Need?

Try the visa wizard on the State Department’s visa website. Answering a few basic questions about your international candidate should lead you right to the visa information you need.

Visa Resources

U.S. Department of State visa information

State Department visa page

You may find these parts of the State Department site particularly helpful:

U.S. government agencies

U.S. immigration resources

Housing & Transportation

International Programs does not provide direct housing services. Scholars and/or their host departments arrange for housing.

Living on campus

The University welcomes international scholars in its on-campus housing. A variety of apartment living options are available to accommodate both single students and families. Please check our WSU housing link below for more information.

Living off campus

For assistance in locating other off-campus housing options, contact your WSU host department or see this apartment sources website.

Explore campus housing  Explore the Pullman area